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ATLman1

Auburn/Opelika (Lee County) Population Boom

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Columbus's good neighbor to the West is about to see major growth due to the expansion of Fort Benning, Kia, AFLAC, and TSYS in the Columbus metro area. The county is expected to grow 10% by 2011. That is around 13,000 new residents to the area. Here is the article Growth in Auburn and Opelika. This is from WRBL.com Population growth Any thoughts?

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The one missing critical ingredient is roads. So long as I-185 is the country's longest cul-de-sac, the Columbus area will not stage a big breakout from the pack of second tier cities. The Fall Line and W. Ga Freeways will help. But the area really needs interstate connections to grow at its full potential. The "problem" is the old chicken-or-egg enigma. No major roads without population growth and no population growth without roads. I keep hoping that BRAC will jump-start roadwork in the area but I am unaware of any major push -- other than the study of I-14 (?). We dont need no more stinkin' studies! We need roads east-west (Macon-Montgomery) and noth-south (Chattanooga-Tallahassee) -- yesterday!

I agree with you gah. Columbus isn't going anywhere without some new roads. Every major insterstate in GA (except 95) just takes you to Atlanta. As much as I like Atl... I hate driving through it. I-14 should happen... and it is long overdue. Another thing that the Smiths Station/Lee County area needs is a sewer system. They'll never get the commercial development until they have sewers.

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Speaking of roads, it looks like U.S. 431 will finally be finished by 2008. The last 2-lane stretch south of Phenix City is in the process of being 4-laned. That will make a U.S. 431 4-laned all of the way to Panama City. This will make travelers much more safe because this is the main route to the panhandle for Columbus, Atlanta, and other points north to get to the beach. Here is the article U.S. 431

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Speaking of roads, it looks like U.S. 431 will finally be finished by 2008. The last 2-lane stretch south of Phenix City is in the process of being 4-laned. That will make a U.S. 431 4-laned all of the way to Panama City. This will make travelers much more safe because this is the main route to the panhandle for Columbus, Atlanta, and other points north to get to the beach. Here is the article U.S. 431

Wonder if there is any likelihood that 431 could be considered for revamping to interstate standards.

A tie-in to I-185 (via the Allen Bypass) would then give interstate access from Atlanta to the Fla panhandle.

A combination of three states might have the political clout to bring that off.

I dont really follow Alabama events, but is there any discussion of road improvements between Lee County and the B'ham area? Seems that the economic development in Lee County and the growing Auburn scene would certainly warrant consideration of a limited-access freeway between the two areas.

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Another thing that the Smiths Station/Lee County area needs is a sewer system. They'll never get the commercial development until they have sewers.

I could be wrong, but I think I heard that there is some sewer development planned for that area -- to tie into the PC system to the south. If I am right, I am still not sure of the magnitude of the plan or when it set to come on line. The "problem" is that, until recently, there was really no governmental entity to spearhead a coordinated system -- just indiscriminate pockets of subdivisions whose only government was Lee County -- headquartered in the northern part of the county. Hopefully that will change with the incorporation of Smith Station. However, it wont be easy to get some of those folks who fled to Lee County to escape the "city" to give up some of their independence ( including a non-tax based septic system) and accept the "benefits" of another layer of government -- even if it is homerule.

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Speaking of roads, it looks like U.S. 431 will finally be finished by 2008. The last 2-lane stretch south of Phenix City is in the process of being 4-laned. That will make a U.S. 431 4-laned all of the way to Panama City. This will make travelers much more safe because this is the main route to the panhandle for Columbus, Atlanta, and other points north to get to the beach. Here is the article U.S. 431

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